Redi-Rock charts Besser-blazed trail, earning top Commerce Department Export honor

Sources: Foster Swift Collins & Smith, Lansing, Mich.; CP staff

Redi-Rock International, the Michigan-based concrete formwork developer and licensor who helped reshape the wet cast retaining wall market, has received the President’s “E” Award for Exporting from the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

“We believe you don’t look at international barriers, but international opportunities,” says Global Account Manager Andrew Nickodemus. “We’re looking to help change the world in concrete ways.” In five years, he adds, Redi-Rock quintupled the number of retaining wall installations delivered overseas and domestically, while expanding international accounts or licensees from four to 23.  

“Redi-Rock is a truly innovative company when it comes to not only their products, but how they see obstacles,” notes Jean Schtokal, an international business and trade attorney at Foster Swift. “They found creative ways to connect with organizations and manufacturers all over the globe, while protecting their intellectual property.”

Schotkal chairs the West Michigan District Export Council and is Executive in Residence at the Michigan State University Broad School of Business’ International Business Center. Concurrent with Redi-Rock’s honors, her firm received the President’s “E” Award for Export Service, prompting this observation from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: “Foster Swift Collins & Smith’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

Both President’s “E” Awards are the highest honors U.S. entities can earn for making significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports. Past Michigan President’s “E” Award recipients include Besser Co., Alpena, which earned the honor in 1973. The program dates to a 1961 Executive Order by President John F. Kennedy. 

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